Fertiliser Manufacturers In Crisis



  By Nompumelelo Moyo 

 Bulawayo, October 17, 2013-Fertiliser manufacturers in Zimbabwe are faced  

 with challenges in producing sufficient quantities to meet the demand for the

 summer farming season as they are operating below capacity.

 One of the leading fertilizer manufacturers, Chemplex Corporation confirmed that

 producers were operating  below capacity and this could impact on the overall production levels.

 “It’s a tight situation. We have been running at 20 percent capacity utilisation  average

 from January to date. Demand has been low and we have no cash to buy our inputs right now.

We have 50 000 tonnes in stock and  between now and end of the season

we want to produce 100 000 tonnes of fertilizer, some traders will add up 50  000 tonnes to make a total of 200 000 tonnes,” said Chemplex Corporation  chief executive officer,Misheck Samson Kachere.

 Kachere disclosed that the government had already indicated that it would  require

 160 000 for distribution to farmers under its subsidised inputs programme.

 “They indicated that they want 80 000 tonnes of compound D fertiliser and 80     000 tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate for their direct programmes,” said Kachere.

 He said that the challenges for manufacturers are emanating from bad debtors.

 “Recovering our cash from creditors and other clients has been our major  challenge. Logistics and utility supply is also a major

 challenge. If government availed US$30 million, our production was going to be  boosted,” he said.

Zimbabwe is currently faced with a food deficit with more than 2 million people in need

of assistance to avert hunger. Critics blame President Robert Mugabe’s administration for

 decimating the country’s agricultural sector through grabbing land from white commercial farmers.

 However, Mugabe denies the charge.